Advance Lithium owns a group of salars or salt lakes in central Mexico, where lithium and potassium are found in clay deposits, and the company has a patent pending method to extract lithium and potassium using water


Advance Lithium owns salars in central Mexico. (Credit: Zac Edmonds on Unsplash)

Canadian junior exploration company Advance Lithium is in talks to form a joint venture with Mexico’s national lithium company, LitioMx.

The talks build on both parties’ common goal of transforming Mexico into a lithium mining country.

Advance Lithium owns a group of salars or salt lakes in central Mexico, where lithium and potassium are found in clay deposits at the surface, not bound in other minerals.

The company has a patent pending lithium and potassium extraction method, which involves adding water to the clay and agitating it to release the lithium and potassium from the clay.

A concentrate of lithium, potassium, and water is produced using electrical separation, and an organic compound is used to separate the lithium and potassium from the water.

Water from the low-energy extraction method could be provided using solar power and can be recycled and used many times.

Advance Lithium president and CEO Allan Barry Laboucan said: “Two large vehicle manufacturing companies have recently announced plans to build battery manufacturing facilities in Mexico, one of which will be located in the state of San Luis Potosi in close proximity to our salars.

“It has always been a goal of Advance Lithium that if we become a lithium and potassium producer and that the lithium and potassium stays in Mexico to help with domestic battery manufacturing and to benefit Mexican farmers.

“Battery manufacturing is ramping up in Mexico, a domestic source of lithium to supply the coming demand will be crucial, we believe we have the potential to be part of these efforts and working with LitioMx would be the quickest way to make that a reality.”

According to Advance Lithium, extraction methods for other lithium clay deposits require expensive roasters that result in high energy costs, and water cannot be recycled.

Its unique extraction method does not require acid digestion to liberate the lithium and potassium from other minerals and is a truly green mining solution.

Currently, the company is building a demonstration plant in Zacatecas, Mexico by a team of metallurgists with experience working for Mexican major mining companies.

Advance Lithium is focused on acquiring and exploring mineral properties containing precious metals, agricultural minerals, and battery metals.

In 2017, the company fully acquired the Tabasquena silver mine, and the Venaditas project in 2018, both located in Zacatecas, Mexico.

In March 2021, it acquired 13 salars in central Mexico containing potassium, boron and lithium, enabling it to move into agricultural minerals and the exciting lithium space.